This is my first time posting here and I'm not sure what to expect, but I will be doing my best to explain the situation.
My girlfriend and I had a recent fallout (first one). We are in a long distance relationship and see each other about every three months or so, and we won't be able to truly be in a physically close relationship until I complete my graduate program and she completes her undergraduate program. She is an absolutely stunning, intelligent, talented human being with a heart of an angel. She deserves nothing more than happiness and success in her life. I love her.
She posted on her twitter that she wanted pizza. I wanted to surprise her by buying her pizza, but also not being able to have my information tracked down to keep the surprise. The thing is Little Caesar's is her favourite pizza place---I couldn't find a way to get a delivery-based company to pick up the pizza that's available in her community (I will try harder next time---there has to be a way). Thus, I settled for Dominoe's pizza, which was readily available (I found out the hard way that this was NOT her pizza preference by far).
When she received the pizza, she immediately called me and asked if I had bought her pizza---I insisted I didn't because I wanted to preserve the surprise as much as possible. Furthermore, I advocated this fact by saying she wouldn't have wanted Dominoes because it's not her pizza preference (mind you, I didn't know this, so I took a risk in saying, to which, surprisingly, she concurred---I kinda look even more of a jackass). She trusted my word, and so went to proceed to call some of her closest friends and family members (all said they didn't order the pizza), while I'm pretending to be dumb and oblivious to the whole thing---I knew that if I looked at her in the face if she interrogated me, I would have broken completely. I wanted to preserve the surprise as much as possible. In the middle of her interactions with fellow peers, I noticed she entertained the idea of a secret admirer---I thought, "Hey, I could play this off further. Maybe it will get me off her list as a potential suspect for buying her pizza." In order to not have my information tracked down (because she's one hell of a smart SOB---NEVER UNDERESTIMATE HER!), I used a messaging app that gives me a different number. I used broken English and grammar to not give any indication that it was me (i.e. "your amazzing personn. you deserrve pizza - sekret admirerr").
At this point, she experiences distress and anxiety. She has anxiety--I should have known better. I immediately fessed up and apologized for putting her through her anxiety scare---she told me a recent friend of hers was kidnapped and raped, and she was scared out of her mind that she could a potential victim---I didn't know about this. She couldn't sleep at all that night.
She didn't talk to me at all the day after. At the end of the night, she requested to talk me, and we did. She told me she didn't appreciate that I had lied her, that I didn't fess it was me that ordered the pizza (I didn't fess up for the entire time that previous night until I saw she was panicking and was experiencing anxiety---she also said the pizza thing was sketchy), and that I put her through an episode of anxiety---she told me never to do it again. I had apologized to her, telling her what I did was not right at all and putting her through an episode of anxiety was completely unfair to her being, making her think she was a potential victim. She doesn't deserve this kind of experience at all. It was not my intention to do this to her at all---I wanted to surprise her and make her happy because her smile is one of the greatest delights of this world.
She has told me to give her some space and time. She has also said she won't easily leave me off the hook, and that tomorrow (which is today) she won't be in a good mood.
I recently read a book that recommended to talk to her, listen to her and understand where she is coming from, affirm that I am understanding her, and apologize for these points, and to keep iterating this process until she feels better (the book said she will verbally express this). The thing is, if I try to follow this book, it means that she has not felt better last night, she has not felt my love and understanding of her, (she has said she still feels salty). At the same time, the book has said to give her some space and time, to be patient with her (that is, to not contact her by any means until she feels ready to reach out), and allow her to miss me and come to me.
I'm confused---I want to be able to be the best partner that I can be for her. At the same time, I hate to see her this distressed and I feel extremely awful for putting through this---I had a hard time sleeping because my heart was aching from what I have done to her. As much as I would hate to see this relationship go to the history books because she is one of the best things that has ever happened me, I understand what she needs to do to make her happy and I wish nothing but love and the best for her.
What can I do as a partner in this situation? I don't want to rely on this book---I want actual human feedback that could support me. I reached out to a personal coach of mine, a friend, and her mother for some feedback.
Your support means the world to me. Thank you so much IPS.